UK

Drayton Manor Accident Victim Evha Jannath Pictured For The First Time As Parents Pay Tribute

'A beautiful little girl who was full of love and always smiling.'

10/05/2017 12:41 BST | Updated 10/05/2017 13:43 BST

An 11-year-old girl who died at Drayton Manor theme park has been pictured for the first time.

Evha Jannath, from Leicester, fell out of a boat on the Splash Canyon ride during a school trip to the Tamworth-based theme park on Tuesday.

She was pictured for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, as her parents paid tribute to their “beautiful little girl”.

They said: “Evha was a beautiful little girl who was full of love and always smiling.

“Words cannot describe the pain and loss we feel, we are devastated that we will not see our beautiful little girl again.

“We ask that you allow us to grieve in private and deal with our loss as a family.”

The youngster’s school, the Jameah Academy, an integrated Islamic day school for girls in Leicester, remained closed on Wednesday, as did the theme park.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said it was making initial inquiries into the tragedy alongside the emergency services, while the girl’s school said it is “liaising with the relevant authorities”, the Press Association reported.

According to one parent from the Jameah Academy, the girl fell from one of the boats when it hit a rock.

PA Wire/PA Images
A police officer outside the Drayton Manor theme park following the incident

She told the Mail Online: “When the girl got up to change seats just then it hit a rock and she got knocked out of the boat and fell in the water and the water currents dragged her in.”

The parent, who asked not to be named, said the girl disappeared from view after falling from the ride.

In a statement Evha ’s school said it was providing “support to pupils and staff” and asked that the girl’s family and the school community was given “time to grieve”.

Drayton Manor’s company director George Bryan, whose grandfather opened the park in the 1950s, said they were “truly shocked and devastated” by the death.

He appeared shaken as he read a statement at the park on Tuesday afternoon in which he said specially-trained staff were on the scene “immediately” after the alarm was raised.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it was called to Drayton Manor Theme Park at 2.18pm and sent paramedics by land and air to the site, with the first crews arriving within seven minutes.

A spokesman said crews discovered a girl “with serious injuries who had been rescued from the water by park staff” on arrival.

After receiving advanced life support she was flown to Birmingham Children’s Hospital with a doctor continuing treatment en-route.

PA Wire/PA Images
Jameah Academy remained closed on Wednesday

“Unfortunately, shortly after arrival at hospital it became apparent nothing could be done to save her and she was confirmed deceased,” the spokesman said.

The girl has not been formally identified, and Staffordshire Police said specially-trained officers were supporting her family following the “tragic incident”.

The ride, which opened in 1993, and features up to 21 boats each with a capacity of six people, was closed following the incident.

Offering a “a wild ride” with “fast-flowing rapids”, riders must be at least 0.9m (3ft) tall, although those under 1.1m can ride if they are accompanied by an adult.

A spokesman for the HSE said on Tuesday: “The HSE has been made aware of today’s incident at Drayton Manor and is making initial inquiries along with emergency services.”

Drayton Manor officials said on Facebook on Tuesday: “The HSE have not asked us to close the park tomorrow. The decision has come from the team and the Bryan family as a mark of respect to the girl’s family.”

Councillor Philip Atkins, Staffordshire County Council leader, said the Bryan family “will be absolutely devastated by this accident and will undoubtedly do all they can to help find out how this tragic accident occurred”.